MEET THE TEAM
Our team of instructors brings to the table a wide variety of areas of expertise. We are able to deliver the course material in an effective manner that addresses an array of topics. We can also tailor seminars based on your company’s individual needs.



WORKPLACE WELLNESS TRAINERS


Victoria Lonzi
Manager of Workplace and Community Well-Being
716-886-1242 Ext. 316
vlonzi@eriemha.org


Victoria Lonzi joined the Mental Health Association of Erie County in 2016 as the Manager of Workplace and Community Well-Being. In this role she hopes to reduce the mental health stigma at companies around WNY, while providing the tools necessary to help employees become both physically and mentally well. With over 7 years of experience in workplace wellness and working with over 150 companies, she has learned that every wellness program has to be unique to the employee demographics and there is no one size fit all program. It takes careful assessment of the company and employee needs to build an impactful employee wellbeing program. In March of 2017, she launched the Mindset program. This program addresses mental health in the workplace.

Victoria has a Master of Science degree in Health and Human Performance and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Human Development. Prior to her position at the Mental Health Association of Erie County, she worked at Pepsi Beverage’s headquarters doing workplace wellness programming and two large insurance carries as a Health Promotion Specialist. She went into this field because she has a true passion for behavior change and helping people to live the highest quality of life possible. During her free time, you can find her in nature. She enjoys racing sailboats, cycling, mountain biking, yoga, swimming, hiking with her dog and competing in triathlons.

Trained to deliver the following programming:

Coping with Work and Family Stress: a Workplace Intervention
Mental Health Works Program
Mindful Eating (MB-EAT Program)



Karl Shallowhorn
Director of Community Advocacy
716-886-1242 Ext. 323
karlmhacompeer@gmail.com


Karl Shallowhorn is the Director of Community Advocacy for the Mental Health Association of Erie County and Compeer Buffalo. He is a New York State Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor and worked in both the addictions and mental health fields. Karl is the author of Working on Wellness: A Practical Guide to Mental Health and is a contributing writer and blogger for BP magazine and writes his own blog: The Hope Shot. He is a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor for adults, children, veterans, higher education and older adult communities. Karl is the Chair of Affiliate Relations for the Mental Health Association in New York State Board of Directors, the Erie County Mental Hygiene Community Services Board, the United Church of Christ Mental Health Network and the 4th and Forever Foundation. He has a Master’s Degree in Student Personnel Administration from SUNY Buffalo State.

Trained to deliver the following programming:

Coping with Work and Family Stress: a Workplace Intervention
Mental Health Works Program
Mental Health First Aid Training 



Ken Houseknecht
Executive Director
716-886-1242 Ext. 314
khouseknecht@eriemha.org


I spent 30 years doing public and investor relations work with some really great people and some truly incredible companies/organizations. Most days, I told folks, "This much fun...and we get paid too! Doesn't seem right." I was blessed! In 2011, I was honored to join the Mental Health Association (MHA) of Erie County as the Executive Director, an organization where I had been a volunteer for nearly three decades. The MHA does some amazing work, promoting mental health and wellness and helping folks who have suffered a temporary or more permanent loss of mental health or wellness.Again, I work with incredibly talented and passionate people doing work that really makes a difference in people's lives. How cool is that! I'm still blessed!!!

I am especially interested in working with the leadership teams at organizations – large and small, for-profit and non-profit alike – helping to develop a culture of workplace well-being, which benefits both employees and the organization. As we tell folks, it’s not a question of whether or not you’ll spend money on mental health; You will. It more a question of where will that money be spent. Will we wait until mental health issues develop -- either ignoring, minimizing, or responding poorly to them? Or will we invest in wellness and create a culture of health, resilience, and well-being?

Trained to deliver the following programming:

Mental Health Works Program




WORKPLACE MINDFULNESS & YOGA

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MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID TRAINERS

Tina Caviness
Tina is the Family Advocate at Compeer of Greater Buffalo for the PFC Dwyer Project, Vet 2 Vet Program. She served as a Sergeant for 11 years in the Army National Guard. She is a coach for Operation Family Caregiver a program of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving. She is excited about reaching out to military family members, who are struggling with PTSD, TBI and injuries suffered from combat, giving them the tools they need to be a strong family unit again after deployments and the transition into civilian life. Tina is a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor for adults and veterans.


Alana Chazen
Alana is a 2014 graduate from Buffalo State College with a BS in Social Work. Alana is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid instructor. Her future plans include obtaining a Master’s in Social Work in and working with agencies that advocate for mental health awareness.


Caitlin Neumann
Caitlin is a Sociology major from Buffalo and has had experience in the mental health system for over 4 years. She is the President of the Board of Directors for Youth Power, a disability advocacy organization in New York State. Caitlin’s primary interests are in the areas of self-advocacy and self-expression, and is especially passionate towards activism and music therapy. Caitlin is a peer advocate for the Mental Health Association of Erie County and a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor.